Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adobo-Rubbed Tuna Steaks

Steph found a really interesting preparation for the Gulf-caught tuna she snagged at the Farmer's Market last weekend.  An adobo rub (many spices, including turmeric, coriander, cayenne, ginger and allspice) added a fiery depth to the tuna.  There's also an avocado salsa here, with scallions, roasted red peppers, and orange and lime juices.  Finally, it's on a bed of lightly pickled English cucumber.  Delicious.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Big Backyard

RJA and Stacey have already done a good job describing the cool new playground/park/garden at the Botanic Gardens-- not a lot that I can add. The kids absolutely loved it (as did me and Bwana). If you haven't seen it yet, you need to.


See the whole set here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Picture everyone in fancier outfits, and you'll get the idea.

You should know that I took these pictures. I'd hate to ruin Chip's reputation.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Peace on Earth

We caught the Tibetan Monks at the Shell on Sunday night, which was very interesting.  I can't say that the sounds they make are all that pleasing to Western ears, but we did have a good time.

The opener was my old guitar teacher, Lily Afshar.  Spectacular, as always.

Connor and Chloe thought the horns that the monks played sounded like amplified bodily functions:

The biggest hit was this thing-- they called it Snow Leopard, but it looked more like a dog.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Love of My Life

Songs that make me think of Chip

All I Want is You, U2
Hey Jupiter, Tori Amos
Lump, Presidents of the United States
Grace, Me'Shell NdegeOcello
What a Fool Believes, Doobie Brothers

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Joining the Music List Movement

SAM and Sassy have made music lists recently, so I guess I'll join in. If there's one thing I have always taken seriously, it's music.

Albums which I have absolutely burned a hole in from repeated listening, at various times of my life:

1. Paul’s Boutique, Beastie Boys
2. Bitter, Me’Shell Ndegeocello
3. Cocoon Crash, K’s Choice
4. Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos
5. Music, 311
6. When the Pawn..., Fiona Apple
7. Rockin’ the Suburbs, Ben Folds
8. Tales from an Acoustic Planet, Bela Fleck
9. All 3 of Nickel Creek’s records
10. Transatlanticism, Death Cab For Cutie

Acts which lots of folks had brief flirtations with, and I have stuck with:

1. XTC (finally broke up recently, but released incredible albums into the 00s.)
2. Prince (there ARE brilliant records after Purple Rain, people)
3. Incubus
4. Indigo Girls
5. Weezer (The latest red album is their best ever)
6. Michael Penn (Has made continued to make great music AFTER becoming Mr. Aimee Mann)
7. Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket)

Acts which were very important to me at one time and now I don’t care for all that much (These people still make music, but they have all released more than two consecutive albums which I don’t care for):

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Tori Amos
3. Sarah McLachlan
4. Ani DiFranco
5. Fishbone
6. Me’Shell Ndegeocello
7. R.E.M.

Bands that wowed me and then disappeared:

1. Spot
2. Digable Planets
3. Fastball

Songs which invariably give me goose bumps and lumps in my throat:

1. Hide and Seek, Imogen Heap
2. Eat for Two, 10,000 Maniacs
3. Deep as You Go, October Project
4. Wood Song, Indigo Girls
5. Eveline, Nickel Creek  (Such otherworldly harmonies... love this.)
6. Tell Her This, Del Amitri
7. Rebel, Garrison Starr  (Sorry, no link... find her Stupid Girl CD.)
8.  You Had Time, Ani Difranco

Bands seen the most times live:

1. 311 (30? 40? Lost count.)
2. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (10?)
3. Nickel Creek (6)

Extremely Talented Memphis-Connected Songwriters With Whom I Have Made Music:

1. Garrison Starr
2. Doug Wamble
3. Mark McKinney
4. Wayne Leeloy
5. Chris Anderson

Bands which I like ok, but everyone else seems to like more than I:

1. Coldplay
2. Wilco
3. Led Zeppelin

Favorite Radiohead songs, since Radiohead is really important and for some reason they don't appear in any of the lists above:

1.  Idioteque (The link is the live performance of this on SNL-- legendary.)
2.  Paranoid Android
3.  Everything in its Right Place
4.  Kid A
5.  15 Step

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Listen Up

For years, my in-laws have touted the joys of reading books on their Kindle or listening to audio books. While I doubt I’ll ever have a Kindle, I am always interested in hearing how they fit audio books into their lives. I enjoy reading aloud and being read to. Chip and I used to read books to each other on car trips, and there was a time when I listened to Dick Estell’s Radio Reader almost every night. This time coincided with the time when I didn't have kids- it hasn't really worked out for me since then, and I've missed it.

The success of my in-laws’ experience with audio books also seemed intrinsically tied to the absence of small children in their daily lives. They listen in the car, on their nightly walk, as they sit quietly in the evenings knitting, etc. These situations do not occur naturally in my life, but it’s not totally hopeless. I do have two afternoons a week with no kids in the car, so that’s 45 minutes or so a week that I could bank on listening to a book. (I don’t have a fancy iPhone dock in my car like a lot of people out there, though so I had to get over my misgivings about wearing headphones in the car.) And though I won’t ever listen when I’m jogging, I do take nice walks fairly regularly. So I decided that it might work, and I gave it a try.

I went to, which was recommended by Roy and Sherri, and signed up for their special introductory offer- for $7.50 a month, I can download one book a month. That price is for the first three months- after that the price goes up to $15 a month. (I'm not sure I'll stick around once the price goes up- I'm still trying to decide if it's worth it for me.) So far, I’ve done one month, one book. And it was pretty cool. I listened to Rain Gods by James Lee Burke, read by Will Patton. He was a great narrator and I really enjoyed the book. I did listen in the car and while taking walks- that worked fine. I also liked listening while I was doing the dishes, cleaning up, etc. I hadn’t planned on that, so it was a pleasant surprise. However, I found it weird to sit with the kids and listen to a book while they played or watched cartoons or whatever, times when I would usually be reading a book that could easily be put down when they (frequently) interrupt me. I still managed to pull it off, though, thanks to the “back up a few seconds” rewind button on my iPhone. (Just like the one on my TiVo!)

Because I tend to be lazier about reading non-fiction than I am about reading fiction, I’m thinking that next month’s Audible download should be something like Outliers that I might otherwise kind of drag myself through. Any other suggestions? Do any of you “read” audio books regularly? Where do you get the books? What genres work best? What should I put on my to-read list in this format?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009